Editor Explains: Urbi Bhaduri #WritingResourcesByIndy

All editors are readers first, the love of reading translates into their work and editing. Today I welcome another multi-talented editor, Urbi to Eloquent Articulation.

Urbi Bhaduri is a traditionally published writer, editor and literary arts educator. She has worked extensively in the development sector with adolescents and young adults living on the urban margins, facilitating learning on themes ranging from self-exploration, sexuality and entrepreneurial mindsets to writing poetry and memoir. 

Q1. What pulled you into the field of editing? 

I’ve always been a reader and a writer. I would always be approached by friends with requests to take a look at their writing, and later, their research work. In college, I started working in the development sector and this led to editing non-profit publications. I also find particular pleasure and meaning in encouraging others to write, and during the course of this work, opportunities to edit fiction and non-fiction have also emerged.

Q2. What levels of editing do you offer?  What are your favorite genres to work with?

I do line-edits (which usually includes proofreading) and story edits. My role is often not limited to editing. I offer spaces of deep listening and encouragement to writers who are blocked or struggling to carry the story forward, through a programme I started during the pandemic, called Maps for Lost Writers.

Q3. Tell us about your typical workday?

I usually list my priorities for the day the previous night itself in a carry-all, all-purpose notebook. My workday starts at 11 am, after I have spent some time with my young daughter. I usually reserve my mornings for conversations with writers, helping them break through blocks, have accountability in the creative process, analyse their plots and brainstorm ideas. I do my editing work in the afternoons, and my own creative work late at night. Throughout the day, I take breaks to recharge and ground myself. These may be through mindfulness practices, reading something that inspires me, small naps, or attending to the needs of my home.

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Q4. Editors are usually voracious readers and booklovers. Are you a one or multi-book reader? What are you reading right now?  

I’m currently reading Courting the Wild Twin by Martin Shaw. I usually read one book at a time. Investing attention across books often makes me lose focus and I don’t get as much pleasure out of the reading experience.

Q5. How do you sustain interest in even the most mundane aspects of editing—proofreading, fact-checking, source-checking, etc?

When I’m working on a book whose subject interests me, fact-checking and source-checking become a way for me to learn more. It carries me into a state of flow with a momentum of its own. But even otherwise, knowing my why (as Simon Sinek would say) — a sense of clarity as to why the work at hand is important, and what it means to the author and its audience — is usually enough to allow me to sustain interest and commitment.

Q6. Share about your most confounding editing assignment to date Urbi. How it affected you as an editor?

Many years earlier, when I was starting out, I was asked to edit an adaptation of a classic, and I ended up rewriting it in its entirety. I got paid only the editing fee though! This made me aware that I am a person who cannot allow anything to pass through her hands unless a certain minimum standard of excellence was met. I would rather overdeliver. Sometimes this becomes challenging, especially if the client and I don’t see eye to eye on the subject of what the work needs to be the best version of itself.

Q7. Please share one pro-tip for your writers? 

Don’t write and self-edit at the same time. Allow a gap of at least two weeks for your thoughts and emotions to settle down before you take a fresh look at what you wrote. Don’t give your inner editor a chance to activate your inner critic and dampen your writing spirit prematurely!

Q8. Urbi, where can writers reach you for editing queries?

I can be reached at [email protected], or through WhatsApp or text at +91-9459117455.

Thank you for joining me Urbi. I wish you great success I your endeavors.

My dear readers, be sure to check out the books, the one she wrote; NALAK and the one she is reading.

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